Wiig's underplaying, a repressed otherworldly Sissy Spacek sort of thing, has its moments of humor, but this proud, simple woman is never for an instant comic.
It doesn't take long for us to get lost in Wiig's thorough portrayal of a dowdy housekeeper who must soldier on in the face of a cruel prank to find some kind of love in her life.
Liza Johnson's nicely tuned, and turned, adaptation of the Alice Munro short story "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage."
We've never seen a protagonist quite like Johanna, who on the one hand personifies female self-abnegation at its most domesticated, but on the other embodies the sheer will at its most stubborn.
Short fiction can be a marvelous blueprint for film and revisiting Nobel Prize-winner Munro's story in this era of "catfishing" makes a lot of sense: People are no less desperate for connection than they ever have been.
The buttoned-up, buttoned-lipped Wiig seems to have landed in the Midwest from Mars, as though, like David Bowie before her, she's The Maid Who Fell to Earth
"Kristen Wiig's performance in "Hateship Loveship" is so beautifully muted it takes a while to appreciate the loveliness of the notes she's hitting."
Rather than sifting through the emotional layers of a surprisingly determined young woman, more often the scenes feel drained of life.
The people on screen are all worth watching, as is Johnson's directorial career.